The Whites man has been forced to battle back from a complex hip issue in recent times that left him absent from first team football for nearly two years.
The 30-year-old was missing for the majority of the club's Championship promotion-winning campaign before also sitting out of United's debut Premier League season after 16 years away.
Forshaw suffered a number of setbacks along with the countless surgeries he undertook during his recuperation though both player and club kept faith in the recovery process behind closed doors at Thorp Arch.
His return was fully complete last month against Leicester City when he was named in the starting line-up for a top flight game in a Leeds shirt nearly 800 days on since his last league in the Championship against Swansea City in 2019.
"He did really well in the Leicester game. He was controlling it," Richards said of the central midfielder.
"When you've been through that pain for so long you just want to get out there on the pitch. In the game against Leicester he made a real difference. When you've been out that long it's about making sure your first pass is correct.
"His work rate is brilliant. Bielsa in that pre-season before he got injured said he was one of his favourite players. He just does the basics very well. You can trust him. He is dependable and that is what you want from a midfielder."
Fellow pundit Jamie Redknapp echoed Richards' thoughts and said it was pleasing to see him return in style after such a long time away.
"What Adam Forshaw does is look forward every time he gets the ball," Redknapp added.
"He keeps it and he looks forward. He's progressive with his passing and that's something they need to do as a team.
"He's been out a long time. He did great at Middlesbrough and it's great to see him get a chance. When you've been out for so long you never know what is going to happen with other injuries, so it's pleasing to see him back."